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RISMEDIA, December 28, 2009—What’s the best thing you can do for your work life this holiday season? If you’re a business leader, your reaction is probably something like: “Figure out how to bring in more business in 2010.” If you’re an employee, it might be: “Get a hefty end-of-year bonus.” And if you’re unemployed, you’re almost certainly thinking: “Find a job.”

Well, those things would be nice, of course. But Dave Anderson, author of How to Run Your Business by THE BOOK: A Biblical Blueprint to Bless Your Business says there’s an even better way to bring 2009 to a close—one you have more control over and one that’s more in line with the spirit of the season.

Forgive. “No matter what you’ve been through in the past year, it’s likely you are holding on to some grudges,” says Anderson. “Maybe you’re angry with a client who stiffed you or a coworker who stole your idea and presented it as her own or an ex-boss who downsized you right after you announced the imminent arrival of a new baby. Forgiving and/or reconciling with that person right now can mean a happier and more productive new year.”

Maybe you have some vague idea that by failing to forgive another person you are getting even with him or hurting him in some way. Of course (and you know this when you think about it rationally), that couldn’t be further from the truth. Grudges hurt only the grudge-bearer.

Anderson suggests keeping the following tips in mind as you work toward reconciliation:

Bring Closure to Past Offenses. Identify anyone you must make amends with and do it quickly. Don’t worry about whose “fault” it is. It’s up to the most spiritually mature person in the relationship to make the first move.

Don’t Miss the Moment. In most situations, there is a “perfect” moment to let bygones be bygones and resolve a strained relationship. Anderson says you’ll know it when it happens. If you let it pass by without acting on it, you will regret it. “There’s not always another chance,” reflects Anderson. “That’s as true in business relationships as in personal ones.”

Be Prepared to Turn the Other Cheek. Just because you forgive someone, it doesn’t mean that they’ll want to forgive you, too. And they may even continue to offend or hurt you. Continue to forgive and set the good example. At least you will get peace of mind out of the deal, and that’s worth a lot.

“The holiday season is the perfect time to do an inventory of grudges you’re nursing,” concludes Anderson. “But you can’t just make your ‘forgiveness’ resolution and be done with it; forgiving is a 365-day-a-year discipline. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it. When you release those negative feelings, prosperity will flow your way.”

About the Author
Dave Anderson is president of Dave Anderson’s Learn to Lead and has given over 1,000 leadership presentations in thirteen countries. He is the author of If You Don’t Make Waves, You’ll Drown; Up Your Business!; How to Deal with Difficult Customers; and the TKO business series.